TransUnion – Declan Raines: ‘Fraud prevention should never be looked at as a competitive advantage’

Man typing on keyboard with warning triangle overlay.
Image courtesy of

With global economics becoming increasingly strenuous, the importance of mitigating fraud and ensuring consumer protection has never been so vital. 

We spoke to Declan Raines, Head of US Gaming at TransUnion, who underlined why a united approach to fraud is crucial and identifying fraud at the earliest possible stage should be at the forefront of thoughts for merchants and operators. 

Payment Expert: Are you able to tell us a little more about how the threat of fraud has evolved in recent years?

Declan Raines: In gaming, the exponential growth of online sports betting in particular has brought with it increased fraud targeting the space. Given the generous promotions offered to consumers especially during new state launches, fraudsters will be attracted to the opportunity to conduct bonus abuse. 

In particular, fraudsters are constantly adapting their techniques to withdraw funds from betting platforms whether it’s using multiple devices or even deploying synthetic identities to sign up for multiple accounts. Where money is available, fraudsters will be found. 

PE: How significant is it that the TransUnion TruValidate builds on trusted connections and brings users closer to a collaborative approach?

DR: This is a very significant approach as TruValidate leverages not only connections and correlations between individual points of ID through the vast pool of data that TransUnion owns and has access to, it also leverages connections based on a continuous fraud feedback loop from our subscribers and customers that is updated in real time to help combat fraud across all verticals. 

Fraud prevention should never be looked at as a competitive advantage, all providers are in this together to combat fraud across the industry.

PE: Can you tell us more about the role of NeuroID and how important behavior insights are to the offering and fraud detection? 

DR: Neuro ID will augment our current Device Risk solution (which focuses on the context, reputation and behaviour of a device itself) by providing a set of signals focused on the familiarity the user of that device has with the personal information they are providing. 

Being able to obtain these insights is very valuable to the fraud fighting process as it highlights not only a user’s familiarity with the information they are entering but how they navigate the form they are filling out.

PE: Why is it so crucial to mitigate false positives early in the process and what steps do you take to ensure they are detected? 

DR: False positives are essentially legit players that are being denied access to your platform and services and making sure these are reduced is paramount when it comes to revenue generation. Typically if a potential player is denied access, they will most likely move on to a different platform to be able to place their bet expediently rather than try to resolve and issue that may take an extended amount of time. 

This, again, will negatively affect your bottom line which is why tools must be stacked efficiently to reduce false positives by providing a more robust set of signals.

PE: The TruValidate offering encompasses a wide variety of industries, how challenging and important is this for TransUnion? 

DR: I view this as an asset really. Why would the gaming industry not benefit from information and fraud alerts related to the financial industry (which also relies heavily on KYC) or e-commerce? Being able to provide these signals across industries can prove challenging at times but the configurability of the TruValidate solution can make sure that only the signals that are most relevant to your business are taken in to be decisioned off.

PE: Lastly, what can we look forward to in terms of TransUnion innovating in the space in the future?

DR:TransUnion continues to invest in our core capabilities across identity, fraud and marketing solutions. These capabilities allow us to support our gaming partners across many key operational areas. One area in particular we continue to invest and grow our thought leadership position in is responsible gaming which is of the utmost importance to our gaming partners.